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Spectrum Perspectives: Social Media

May 23, 2012

Adam Beckmeyer
Have you ever stopped to consider the amount of information sifted through your head each day? It’s astounding. On the table next to me alone is a couple magazines, a long list of names, and a binder filled with who-knows-what, yet that’s not enough. We have the internet now, and all knowledge ever is at our finger-tips. Okay, that’s hyperbole, but it’s how it seems often.

For a while, that was enough. The vast unexplored realms of the Internet contained recipes for fruitcake that might be halfway edible and infinite wastelands of unlicensed music, but we wanted more. We wanted to fill this space with our own meaningless blather; and thus Myspace was born.

Since then, we’ve gone through multiple iterations of social networking sites, and to some extent they all seem equally pointless. Facebook is for farmville; I’m not really interested in knowing what you’re eating for lunch on twitter; nobody but google employees use google+. There is value in them, though, if we are intentional. That’s the key for most of life, and it applies equally well here.

Adam Swensen
If you think about it, social media has changed our world. Everything you can possibly want to know is accessible. People we want to connect with are all just a click away behind the ol’ computer screen. We have certainly been blessed with these tools, such as FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram, but have we put too much emphasis on these tools? I fear that we have become a generation fueled by social media. I know I have. I fear that as a social media fueled generation, we have become disconnected. Our life is on the internet. We know so much about people because of their profiles, but can we actually say we know them?
Now don’t get me wrong, I love social media, but I believe they have become abused. How do you use your social media presence? Do you post drama? Or maybe you post just your random thoughts. You may use those tools to actually connect and to spread positive messages. I love when I see people using those tools for the purpose of spreading truth and love in Christ’s name over the internet.
I challenge our readers this week to look at their social media presence and evaluate how it is being used and how often. Have you become disconnected? Be intentional this week and ask someone to coffee or a donut. Get to know someone better. There is not a better time than now.

Tim Newton
Social media has revolutionized the way that people interact with each other in our Internet-obsessed generation. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and countless other sites and services allow us to stay informed about everything from our favorite celebrity’s next project to what our friends are eating and thinking and doing moment by moment. As with any system, there are pros and cons, but when it comes to social media, there’s one thing in particular that constantly, consistently bothers me: for all of the hype about how social media is making us more connected to one another than ever before, it seems to me that we’re becoming more isolated and self-centered with every status update. Social media has enormous potential for good, but how many of us are really using it for anything more than social posturing and self-promotion? Maybe it’s time to rethink the way we use the tools at our disposal.

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